Example Executive Resumes & Other Career Marketing Documents
Your career marketing portfolio is the foundation of your executive job search and is the starting point for our work together. Besides all the other job search services included in the program, during our first week together, I will create for you a portfolio of branded, career marketing documents.
The following are real examples (identities carefully disguised) from the portfolios of some of my past clients.
For a detailed listing of all the portfolio documents and other executive job search services included in the VIP program, please click here.
Executive Resume Examples
Entrepreneur Returning to the Corporate World in a Senior Sales Management Role - Sales Manager Resume
Tammy Lawson was on track for a very successful sales management career when she decided to leave the world of traditional employment to purchase and manage a franchise organization that was in distress and required turnaround. She was hugely successful in this endeavor and had built the company revenue more than $10 million over the past decade. She had just sold the company a few months before when she came to me for a résumé.
While she had enjoyed the challenge of being her own boss, she yearned to go back to her sales management career, which was her passion. However, she wasn’t sure how to present this in a résumé, as her most recent experience made her appear overqualified and drew attention away from her more relevant sales management experience. Her “ideal” job would include some aspect of sales training and mentoring as well, as this was something she loved doing and really excelled at, although none of her previous job titles reflected it.
The solution was a résumé that was very strategically written to focus on her most relevant sales qualifications and to deemphasize the fact that she had been the owner and top executive of the franchise company. While we were meticulously honest in our description of her most recent experience, we were quite selective about what we included and which aspects of her achievements we chose to focus on in order to emphasize the aspects most likely to be relevant in her next position. A variety of graphics, charts, and graphs called attention to her most impressive accomplishments and areas of qualification. Tammy’s training-related accomplishments are sprinkled throughout the résumé.
Healthcare Industry CEO Resume
Dr. James Agard was a European-trained MD and U.S.-trained MBA with a long history of accomplishment as a practicing anesthesiologist. While he was still a practicing physician, his career had taken a turn into executive management and he wanted to continue this, hoping to land a CEO role. He offered a very distinctive value proposition: the proven ability to transform medical operations into a unified, seamless, high-quality, and cost-optimized “value-based” sustainable system founded on common purpose, vision, and teamwork. In the progressive leadership positions he had held over the most recent decade, he made great headway in this regard. We used a variety of charts, graphs, and callouts to illustrate this very distinguishing value proposition throughout the résumé. In particular, we illustrated Dr. Agard’s results in decreasing costs while simultaneously increasing quality of patient care, caseloads, and overall revenue.
When Dr. Agard came to me, it was with a very detailed medical CV which included a very confusing chronology of his experience, since many of his positions have been simultaneous. I rewrote his résumé into a traditional executive format that showcased his stories of challenge-action-result-strategic impact success, particularly as they related back to his value proposition. The emphasis throughout is on his leadership and management competencies, though his clinical highlights and medical credentials add essential credibility and are highlighted in his summary profile.
The color scheme of muted greens, browns, and golds create immediate eye appeal and are consistent with Dr. Agard’s conservative personality.
Manufacturing Industry CEO Resume
Terrence came to me as a seasoned CEO, to have me prepare his first résumé ever. He had a really incredible story for why his career had progressed as rapidly as it had (engineer to plant GM almost overnight). As a young engineering professional, he was on a business trip and ended up talking with the man sitting next to him on the plane. That man was the owner of a company that was troubled and losing money. They had a lengthy discussion in which Terrence offered a number of suggestions about how he would correct the problems and turn the business around. A couple of weeks later, the company owner called and recruited Terrence to serve as GM of one of the most troubled plants. The hitch: he would receive NO salary until he turned it around. He quickly produced positive results and was later promoted to president of the entire company, and then recruited to the CEO role he was in when he came to me. This story was touched on in the résumé by noting that he had been personally recruited by the owner, but I used it more extensively in the letters and biography that I also prepared for him. An excerpt from one of those letters:
Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great? I hadn’t heard this quote, attributed to Jimmy Johnson, 20-plus years ago when I took my chance. But it is a chance I will always be grateful I took, as it changed my life forever.
Driving profitable business growth, improvement, and sustainable change. Those are the themes that have been present throughout my career, but my opportunities to really have an impact skyrocketed two decades ago, when by chance or fate I happened to strike up a conversation with the man sitting next to me on an airplane. At the time I was a young professional, not long out of college and beginning to establish myself in an engineering career. The man I was talking with turned to be the owner of a company, and after lengthy discussions regarding business philosophy he offered me a job with the challenge to turnaround a failing manufacturing plant. The catch? There would be zero pay until the plant was profitable. As risky as it might have seemed, I had faith in my potential, and somewhere I found the courage to take the chance…
Terrence’s personal brand and value proposition was all about driving growth and results through the creation of a cohesive company culture of “We.” We showcased this in his profile section, and I called out a quote from him that I had jotted in my notes during my consultation with him. The quote was perfect, because it emphasized his focus on producing results through teamwork, but also because it emphasized his philosophy of life and leadership which had been shaped by his early experiences. Again, we further drew this out in the other documents I prepared for him.
Terrence had lots of successes and results. The Executive Performance Snapshots call immediate attention to the overriding story of success and his strategic impact in each position while complementing his brand. Rather than letting the reader get lost in a sea of bullets, I used a graphic element on each page to illustrate some of his quantified achievements in a format that was quick and easy to scan. The color scheme was selected to give the résumé an understated elegance while adding the visual appeal that would ensure his résumé stood out.
Vice-President, Global Finance Manager Resume
Brianna was an interesting corporate finance executive. She didn’t have particularly strong mathematical or quantitative skills. Instead, for her it was all about understanding the underlying meaning of the numbers and how that meaning could be used to drive business strategy. As I interviewed her, her passion for this really shone through and she got really excited describing to me how the C-suite executives would come to her and she would help them understand the numbers and help them create strategy from them. Without a doubt, this was the key to her personal brand and unique value proposition and we emphasized it throughout her résumé.
The résumé was slightly challenging in that Brianna had worked for the same, well-known company for many years. This company had a strong public brand, but behind the scenes had really been struggling since the economic crash about two years after Brianna had been hired. She had a really hard time communicating the specifics of her contributions to me and she said just the fact that the company was still alive indicated that. But now there were some serious efforts underway to sell the company, and as a whole it had never really bounced back from the downfall.
After a lengthy conversation I was finally able to distill a number of specific achievements that balanced all of her contributions in regards to cuts, streamlining, and RIFs with a few stories of growth from when she was first hired and from some specific parts of the business that did grow. The result was a really strong résumé that clearly positions Brianna as a high-level strategic and finance advisor to the C-suite, but also as someone who is also able to produce results no matter what the situation: business growth or streamlining. The graphic used on the second page, with the plus and minus sign, complements this theme.
Information Technology Executive Resume - U.S. Expatriate
Carol was an interesting client in that just out of college, 18 years before, she picked up roots and moved internationally, never looking back as her career took off. Fast forward to the present and she was the mother of two school-aged children and really wanted to return to the U.S.
We intentionally made her U.S. citizenship and desire for a return to the U.S. very, very clear in the header of her résumé. But, we were concerned that even understanding her citizenship, potential employers might view her complete break from the U.S. negatively, so I wrote the text of her résumé to really emphasize how she was recruited and promoted aggressively over the years, as a way to explain why she had stayed in Ireland for so long. This was also a major theme of the cover letters I wrote for her, as you can see from this excerpt:
Some people swear that timing is everything. Others insist that successful people make their own luck. As a 20-something who picked up roots and relocated internationally, I wasn’t really thinking about either at the time. Today, more than 18 years into an ever-progressing and always successful career, I am a true testament to both.
Coming out of college with an M.B.A. and a computer science degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world, just as the dot.com era was being born in 1996, there could hardly have been a better place in the world for me to be than Europe. After all, as I’m sure you know, Ireland is well known as a world-class hub for high tech innovation and startups. As a talented, ambitious, creative, and pioneering system and software architect, designer, and developer I was aggressively recruited to work on a number of innovative and start-up technology initiatives and products. Recognized very early on for my leadership, I was sought out for team leadership roles in the first year of my career, a trend that has continued and accelerated since.
Carol’s original résumé was extremely detailed and technically focused. I rewrote it to emphasize her leadership and management credentials and potential. Her major strengths included her unusually strong ability to clearly and deeply understand the issues at hand, cut through the clutter, and focus on the pivotal points most critical to success, creatively overcoming any obstacles on the path. These strengths drove her key value proposition: the proven ability to steer world-class product development organizations to increased competitive advantage and stronger sales, profits, and shareholder gains by leveraging innovation and maximizing quality and performance. This value proposition is clearly conveyed in her résumé profile and also through the stories of success and achievements throughout her résumé.
The graphical and design elements in the résumé gave her résumé immediate visual appeal, but also provided us a way to convey the key results and contributions she had made. With a goal of highlighting the content of her résumé rather than drawing the eye away to design elements alone, we chose a muted color scheme that clearly let her impressive achievements shine through.
Senior Sales Manager Resume - Industry Career Change
Jack Asher is an extraordinarily accomplished and ambitious sales management executive with a BOLD and engaging personality—the type of person who has a presence that “fills” up a room when he walks into it. His leadership style was equally
bold and highly effective, as evidenced by the outstanding results he had produced consistently throughout his career.
He had been in the insurance industry since the start of his career. Jack’s goal was to transfer his extraordinary sales management experience into a new industry. Including the names of his employers, which clearly indicated they were insurance
companies, was unavoidable, but we were careful to strip the résumé of any other industry-specific language that would
pigeonhole him. The language used throughout the résumé was carefully chosen to help show how Jack’s experience was transferable.
The bold red and black color scheme and layout was selected to complement his personal brand and value proposition which was all about bold leadership of top-producing sales organizations. The format allowed us to call out and draw attention to the
major achievement at each company, while further illustrating his value proposition with many results-indicative numbers. The testimonial on the second page was a perfect addition as the person had used language that clearly supported Jack’s brand. The
representative accomplishments section on the first page gave us a place to showcase Jack’s most impressive, career-wide accomplishments.
CFO Resume - Hospitality Industry
For almost her entire career this client had worked for the same hotel and resort company, which if presented incorrectly could make her career look stagnant. As she was hoping this résumé would help her make the transition to the CFO level, it was important to show that while her experience was all in one company, it was still progressive.
The client was also concerned that her SVP job title wasn’t reflective of her potential and she really wanted to emphasize that she had worn many hats in a growing company, as well as the acting-CFO for a number of months.
In order to really showcase the concepts of growth and progression, the résumé content and design was strategically developed to highlight the exponential growth of the company during the time this client was working for them, as well as her eight promotions through the years. The charts on the front page, with the eye-catching upward pointing arrows, really emphasize the business growth, while the red-shaded accomplishment boxes in the body of the résumé emphasize the client’s progression as well as the depth, diversity, and significance of her most prominent accomplishments.
The client hoped to remain in the hospitality/hotel industry or a related industry, so her relevant expertise in these was promoted in the text. Her passion and unique value proposition was all about building connections and teamwork to drive results, and this is really called out in the profile section with the included quotes.
International Executive - CEO / COO Resume
This client was a multicultural, multilingual American expat who had spent his entire career working in the Middle East. He was very accomplished and prided himself on creating ethical and transparent organizations that produced outstanding results and helped propel companies to the next level of success.
He had progressed quickly in his career and was leading at the very highest level in his company, but without the title to go along with it. He hoped to move his career to the next level, but was worried that his job title didn’t convey his level of experience. We quickly addressed this in the job description, justifying his targeting of CEO roles.
The rest of the résumé is very results-focused and his contributions are highlighted using a variety of design, graphical, and charting techniques. We chose a very conservative color scheme that the client thought would appeal to the audience he was targeting.
We anticipated two primary audiences for the résumé: 1) American companies doing business in the Middle East and 2) Middle Eastern companies doing business in the U.S. So as not to confuse the reader, we thought it was best to specify in the résumé which currency we are referring to when we give monetary figures.
North American Controller & Vice President - Finance Resume
Lucy was concerned that she had spent nearly a decade with a company that had been in rapid growth mode when she first joined them, but then quickly went into decline, beginning in 2008, along with the economy. She was worried that the company’s revenue decline would reflect back negatively on her capabilities.
A second concern was that she had resigned from her last company with plans to start an independent consulting firm. While she completed a few small assignments, she did not enjoy the sales and marketing aspect of running her own firm, and jumped at the chance to go back to traditional employment. Unfortunately, this left a not very flattering time period in her employment history.
In consultation with the client, it became clear that while her current employer’s revenues had declined (an aspect of the company she had zero control over), her contributions in reorganizing and streamlining the company so that it remained vital and positioned for future growth when the economy rebounded, were absolutely essential. Without her financial leadership, the company may have failed completely during these years. Instead, by the time we were preparing this résumé, the situation was looking much more optimistic for the company and they were entertaining several options to restart growth once again.
The client’s very real contribution in all of this was her transformation of the financial function from just an accounting arm of the company into a strategic business partner, a value proposition that we showcased throughout the résumé.
Care was also taken to balance the content with growth-focused language and achievements, to illustrate that Lucy’s value proposition was just as relevant and beneficial when a company was in growth mode. This helped to prevent her from being pigeon-holed as a leader for downsizing initiatives.
Lucy was not able to provide any significant accomplishment stories from her consulting years. So, rather than take page space and attention away from the more relevant experiences, we chose to describe the consulting briefly at the end of the résumé. To minimize the possible immediate impression of a gap in the résumé, the employment dates were strategically placed next to job titles where they were not as visually obvious.